I added the extra for the superstitious in the crowd. I personally feel this will be a very GOOD day for us!
There is so much to report…
I will try and get out as many good news stories as possible today. Let’s start off with a great rescue!
1st Cavalry News
‘Grey Wolf’ Soldier Rescues Buddies from IED Blast
By Spc. Ryan Stroud
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs
BAQUBAH, Iraq — “You never get over something like this; you have to live with it. November 25, 2006, will be a day that lives with me for the rest of my life,” said the solemn Pvt. Bradley Griffith about the day he and his crew were hit by an improvised explosive device while traveling on patrol in their humvee.
“I think about it everyday, because you can smell something that will trigger a memory,” said the Soldier with Company A, attached to Co. C, 1-12 Combined Arms Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division.
What started out as a routine day for Griffith, also known as “Griff” to his peers, quickly turned into a rollercoaster of events that would forever shape the young Soldier’s life.
Griffith, along with other Soldiers, was gearing up for a routine mission in Diyala province in Iraq. As they were preparing for their journey, Griffith said he felt something in his body that was “just not right.”
Griffith quickly put his “bad feeling” to the side and continued with his mission at hand.
“We got ready to leave — Sgt. Nunn was gunning and I was driving,” continued Griffith. “We headed out the gate and received word that there was a possible IED [up ahead]. After we made it through that area, we felt alright that we made it but we noticed there was no one around.”
And that’s when it happened. After passing a checkpoint, Griffith’s humvee was hit by an IED, sending the humvee into a swerve as Griffith did his best to regain control of his vehicle.
“I think this was the first day that nothing was said amongst us inside the humvee,” he said. “Usually, something was said. It took me a minute to realize what just happened, because it was my first IED that I’ve gotten into.”
“I tried to keep the vehicle on the road as much as possible and it finally came to a stop,” he continued.
With no time to think, Griffith quickly exited the vehicle and ran to his battle buddies aid. He first saw Nunn in the gunners hatch, jumped on top of the humvee, and started pulling him out.
“The first thing that popped into my mind was everyone needs to get out of this vehicle because there might be a secondary IED about to go off,” he said. “I knew I needed to get these guys out and get them to safety.”
“I jumped out [of the vehicle] to figure out what I was going to do next,” Griffith said with a bit of distress in his voice. “I grabbed Sgt. Nunn out of the humvee; he was still in the gunners hatch. He was asking me how his face was. I told him everything was going to be alright, because I didn’t really know how bad he was.”
“I’ve tried to forget [the experience],” said Nunn, a native of Kansas City, Miss. “I remember the blast and smoke and [Griff] dodging and swerving, trying to keep us on the road. My first reaction after the blast was the pain in my right side. I thought I lost my hand.
“And in the haze and the buzzing noises around me, all I see is Griff yelling, ‘Get out! Get out!’” Nunn said.
“He got me out of the vehicle through the top [gunner’s hatch] and all I remember after that was waking up in another humvee,” he said. “I passed out.”
“At that point, the commander’s humvee had pulled up right next to us, so I took Sgt. Nunn between the two humvees,” Griffith said. “I knew DeNeutte was still inside the humvee.”
Griffith quickly moved around the large vehicle to attend to his comrade but he couldn’t get him out of his door. So, with quick thinking and brute strength, Griffith ran around the other side of the vehicle and pulled the injured DeNeutte out of the smoking humvee.
“I couldn’t get to him because his door was combat locked, I just couldn’t get in,” Griffith said. “So I went around the other side of the humvee and pulled DeNeutte by his [equipment] and pulled him over the seats of the humvee and got him out. I then drug him between the two humvees.”
“DeNeutte kept asking me if he looked alright and I told him everything was going to be alright,” said Griffith. “I laid him down and our [doctor who was traveling with the convoy] came running up.”
As the medic rendered aid, Griffith manned the machine gun, scanning his sector for the triggerman.
Nunn and DeNeutte were quickly evacuated from the area to receive treatment for their wounds. Nunn has since returned to the unit, while DeNeutte is still recovering back in the States.
“I suffered a broken hand, shrapnel in the right side of my face, in my right arm and little pieces of shrapnel in my right thigh,” said Nunn.
Upon Nunn’s return to the unit after being hospitalized for two weeks, he and Griffith finally crossed paths with each other.
“I think the first thing we did when we saw each other was hug,” said Nunn. “It was a big experience for the both of us.”
“I was happy to see him back,” added Griffith. “It was a good feeling. We talked for a few minutes and carried on.”
And the duo has carried on with their missions since. Griffith has been “hit” by a total of four IEDs now, each taking him back to Nov. 25, 2006, but said he has not been fazed by these experiences. Griffith has stood his ground and handled each situation with care.
“This is what my NCOs and Chain-of-Command has taught me,” he said. “Before we came over here, being it was my first time, they taught me what to do in a situation like that. If it wasn’t for them, I probably wouldn’t have known what to have done.”
“Unfortunately, we didn’t catch the triggerman that day, but we did catch him later on another mission,” Griffith added. “It was an awesome feeling. It just felt good to know we got the guy who did this. It was a relief.”
Griffith also said he has talked with DeNeutte since the attack.
“He wanted to thank me for getting him out,” Griffith said. “He said, ‘Thanks for what you did.’”
Nunn said it was good to be back and didn’t want to go home — he preferred to stay in the fight and carry out his mission, with Griffith by his side.
“He acted on a reflex,” said Nunn, proudly. “It wasn’t, ‘What should I do? Somebody tell me what should I do?’ As soon as [the blast] happened, he handled the vehicle. Once the vehicle stopped, he quickly analyzed the situation, jumped up and got me out of the vehicle.
“When the other vehicle pulled up, he quickly got me in-between the two vehicles,” he continued. “He jumped back into the vehicle, got DeNeutte out and he knew there had to be a triggerman on the outside of the road. He jumped in the gunners spot and started looking for that guy.
“If you have never been through something like that, it doesn’t matter what anybody teaches you,” said Nunn. “You’re either ready, or your not, and Griff proved his worth that day. It shows a lot about his character and what he’s willing to do for his team.
“It’s reassuring…there are guys who know how to handle a situation and know how to respond without being told what to do. Those are the guys you want riding in your vehicle, sitting next to you and going where you go,” Nunn said.
“This is real,” added Griffith. “I just knew something needed to be done, so I acted.”
Griffith’s and Nunn’s unit knows there is a bond between the two that will never be broken. The two Soldiers joke with each other, give the other one a hard time, but deep down, there is love between the two – love for their fellow Soldier and brother.
“I don’t think proud is the right word for [my feelings toward] Griff…it’s more than that,” Nunn said. “Griff and I are family.”
Sgt. Eric Nunn and Pvt. Bradley Griffith, both of Company A, attached to Co. C, 1-12 Combined Arms Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, joke with each other while hanging out at Forward Operating Base Warhorse in Baqubah, Iraq. On Nov. 25, 2006, their humvee was hit by an improvised explosive device while conducting combat patrols. Nunn, who was injured by the blast, was carried out of the smoking humvee by Griffith, who also pulled out another Soldier and got the two injured Soldiers to safety. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Ryan Stroud, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs)
Sgt. Eric Nunn and Pvt. Bradley Griffith, both of Company A, attached to Co. C, 1-12 Combined Arms Battalion, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, are survivors of an improvised explosive device which took the life of a fellow Soldier, Nov. 25, 2006. Nunn, who was injured by the blast, was carried out the smoking humvee by Griffith, who also pulled another Soldier out and got the two injured Soldiers to safety. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Ryan Stroud, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division Public Affairs)